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Customer Reviews: 646
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,571
Helpful Votes: 2337


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Bryan Newman "alaskanoutfitting.com" RSS Feed (St Paul, MN)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

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TriCalm Clinical Repair Cream, 2 Ounce
TriCalm Clinical Repair Cream, 2 Ounce
Offered by The Medicine Shoppe
Price: $10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Working for me!, July 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a great repair cream that I have been using for a belt buckle rash. It quickly relieved the dry, itchy skin and appears to be taking care of the redness. I have used prescription steroidal cream in the past and I don't know that that did any better than this is doing now.

The scent is light and the cream is not oily or messy. All in all a great product.


Sparkling Jewel: A Branches Book (Silver Pony Ranch #1)
Sparkling Jewel: A Branches Book (Silver Pony Ranch #1)
by D.L. Green
Edition: Paperback
Price: $2.82

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Early Reader Introduction to Chapter Books, July 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a wonderful little book. The plot is straight forward and will never win any big awards or be adapted to a movie. There are no clever twists, but it has enough to enthrall early readers to keep reading and turning pages. The writing is clean and very readable for even more advanced readers. It is perfect for making the leap from picture books to full on chapter books.

One of the reasons this is such a great transition book for budding readers is the illustrations which are detailed and skillful. The book is unintimidating due to the lush illustration and modest number of very readable words per page. The images alone will keep you young reader moving through the book.

The story itself is fairly straight forward and full of themes that kids can relate to; love of ponies and puppies, sibling rivalry, minor traumas of losing ponies and puppies. Like I said, there are no real twists, just straight forward narration. Perfect for the new reader. Turns out it is a little young for the kids in my life, but those that read it said it was pretty good.


Dove Men + Care Body Wash, Extra Fresh, 23.5 Ounce
Dove Men + Care Body Wash, Extra Fresh, 23.5 Ounce
Price: $6.97
9 used & new from $6.97

4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Body Wash, but I Prefer other Dove Body Washes, July 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a decent body wash, but a little disappointing based on how much I like other Dove body washes. The scent seems a little more perfumey compared to the cologne like scents of the others I've used. Also, I don't think much of the pump for body wash, preferring the flip cap of other Dove and non-Dove products. Pumping in the shower is a little unwieldy.

This is a decent product, and the scent is fresh. It does not lather strongly but does leave me feeling clean. I think mostly I'm giving it four stars more because I love my other Dove body wash more than this one.


The Galaxy Pirates: Hunt for the Pyxis
The Galaxy Pirates: Hunt for the Pyxis
by Zoe Ferraris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.74

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great, Action Packed Book, looking forward to the next in the Series, July 20, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
OK, I do have to admit I had a very poor initial reaction to this book. I had been reading some really well crafted juvenile lit (DiCamillo and Circus Mirandus) and this just didn't seem to be holding up to those. But by page 100 I was hooked into the story. I tend to read a lot of juvenile literature to share with my kids and I can't wait for one of them to pick this up so we can talk about it.

The author makes a fascinating world with a combination of astrology/astronomy, pirates and sailing ships, and anthromorphised animals. the action is well paced and the central story is well written. I don't know that word for word this book is a classic, but blow by blow, it is action packed.


Crayola Story By Me Kit
Crayola Story By Me Kit
Price: $21.99
5 used & new from $21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Gift that Turns into a Keepsake Memory, July 18, 2015
This review is from: Crayola Story By Me Kit (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was introduced to this concept a little while ago and I have been giving them as gifts ever since. These books give excitement and fun several time, from making the book, to getting the book in the mail, to sharing the book with others. We have done a couple in our household and they have been treasured by children and adults alike.

The professional binding really makes the book special. This is not just a staple in the corner booklet, but an actual book. And this one goes a step further than most by giving your young author a bio section with a place for a photo. On the otherhand this one goes further than others by putting a huge Crayola logo on the back along side the photo. That seems a little excessive. But.. the Crayola branded markers are the best I have seen in a set like this.

If you have young ones in your life and have never tried these before, get one. Kids love them and they are great generators of creativity. I hope that someday with have a small bookshelf of these to look back at. We have done them for camping and family trips as well as just straight out creative stories.


Dove Men+Care Shampoo, Oxygen Charge 25.4 oz
Dove Men+Care Shampoo, Oxygen Charge 25.4 oz
Price: $5.97
6 used & new from $5.97

4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Shampoo with a Decent Scent that lives up to it's more volume claims, July 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Well it does give volume...but it turns out, that's not what I'm looking for. I have curly hair and it clearly made it fuller and stand higher which is fine, but not what I was looking for. But the shampoo does have a nice scent that hints of cologne and left my hair clean and smelling great. It seemed to work fine with styling gels and all in all this is a nice shampoo.


Dove Men + Care Body Wash, Hydration Balance, 18 Ounce
Dove Men + Care Body Wash, Hydration Balance, 18 Ounce
Price: $6.49
3 used & new from $6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A Decent, Cologne Scented Body Wash, July 12, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I found this body wash a little formal in that it has a strong cologne. The scent is subtle and long lasting after a shower, lasting an entire day at work. It does not have a strong lather, but it does leave my skin clean, even with a little squeakiness.


Belkin QODE Slim Style Universal Keyboard Case for 10-Inch Devices (F5L179ttBLK)
Belkin QODE Slim Style Universal Keyboard Case for 10-Inch Devices (F5L179ttBLK)
Price: $95.93
6 used & new from $95.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Nice and Well Thought-out Case, July 9, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very well thought out case with just a few drawbacks. It does feel substantial and the elastic holding tabs are strong and it feels like my new iPad Air 2 is snug. Magnets are strong and hold the case closed well as well as holding the iPad in place in typing mode. There are lots of little details that show how much thought was put into it, like holes for different back camera placements. For my iPad, there is a protective flap that easily folds back to expose the camera, while protecting it well when it is closed.

I am very happy how easily the keyboard paired with my iPad although when the case is in tablet mode, the keys are exposed and you can easily tap a key, taking you out of what you are doing, so I needed to turn it back off at times. But it paired immediately when I powered it back on. The feel to the keyboard is good. It is a compressed keyboard, but I was able to type comfortably and quickly and I appreciated the full range of function keys. Basically it turns my iPad into a netbook where I can create content and write which is fantastic.

The downsides I have to this case is that it is a little heavy for my taste. The protection from dropping is a little dubious, but scratch protection is fantastic. And lastly, when the case is in the tablet configuration, the keyboard is exposed and buttons can get accidentally tapped.

Pros
+ Versatile, can work on any 10 inch tablet
+ Good Protection
+ Holds tablets snuggly
+ Keyboard pairs easily
+ nice on off switch to save battery power
+ Keyboard has a nice feel

Cons
- A little heavy
- Keyboard is obviously not full sized
- when in tablet mode, keyboard is exposed

Summary
I would give this four and a half stars but it just doesn't seem to make a full five. It is super protective, and well thought out and I'm glad I have it, just wish it was not quite so heavy and a little more protective of the keyboard. But as far as functionality goes, it has been perfect.


Wellness Pure Rewards Natural Grain Free Dog Treats Made in USA Only, Beef Jerky, 6-Ounce Bag
Wellness Pure Rewards Natural Grain Free Dog Treats Made in USA Only, Beef Jerky, 6-Ounce Bag
Price: $10.29
10 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made in USA from Good Ingredients!, July 8, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There is a lot to feel good about in this reward. Perhaps the second best thing about these treats is that our dogs just love them. Rarely have they been so attentive to commands as they were than after a whiff of these. They are small but big enough that our shephard mixes had to chew them a bit. It was nice that they were not simply inhaled.

But the best thing about this treat comes on the ingredient line. The ingredients are simple and natural and the made in the USA label gives me confidence that these are of good quality. At over $10 a bag, that is a good thing to know.

*** Update ***

It is everyone's unanimous opinion that these are our dogs favorite treats of all time, and I have to agree. They are a little expensive but we are ordering some because we have never seen them so into a treat before.


Upside-Down Magic
Upside-Down Magic
by Sarah Mlynowski
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $7.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Story of Accepting Your Differences and Fitting In., July 7, 2015
This review is from: Upside-Down Magic (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to admit that a few chapters in I had some trepidation about this book. The writing was clean, but with quick staccato sentences with no apparent transitions. I read the first chapter to my kids to get them interested in the book and I found myself reforming sentences on the fly which is a bad sign. Also I was concerned that three authors would end up making a book akin to a Human Resources diversity skit. And I was even more wary when they started putting in quick racial comments talking about skin color and ethnicity of the characters in the book. I started worrying about heavy handed lecturing, but it ended up being ok and echoed the theme of self acceptance and being what you were, not trying to fit the predetermined societal molds.

The world the authors created is one where nearly everyone has a magical power that was neatly grouped into a half dozen magic types. Except not everyone fits into these groups. Some are exact opposites of a group and others are even more profoundly different, not relating into any of the groups. Thus is formed the Upside Down Magic class. A group that does not fit into the mainstream categories, making them misfits that are feeling the pressures of not belonging. But there is hope, because this school that is far from the home of the main character Nori, is starting to look at these misfits as unique rather than flawed and together they start some progressive learning to make the most of their situation.

Pretty much every children's book is about finding one's place. This one hones in on this theme with a laser and delves into the experience of the misfits. They even go as far as to introduce a book that attempts to basically pray the wonky magic away. It helps to make the kids be "normal" by shutting out the huge powers that make the so special and unique.

The best thing is that by the end, it is not heavy handed. In fact it is actually very elegant in it's analogies to real world diversity issues. I did not feel lectured to, I did not feel like the authors were proselytizing (so no need to anyone to start a book burning.) What it ended up being was a very cute and satisfying story of being different, accepting this, and in the end, having this save the day.

There is plenty of zaniness and quirkiness to grab children's attention. Case in point, during the first chapter Nori becomes a Beaver/Kitten hybrid that ends up eating furniture, making a beaver den, then using shredded books to make a litter box. It had two 8 year olds, a nine year old, and a middle aged couple in stitches and drew everyone into the book.

All in all a great book


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